Cybermoor Partners With Calix to Deploy Gigabit Network in UK

  • Calix
  • FTTH
ALSTON MOOR, CUMBRIA, UKCybermoor Networks, a community organization bringing advanced broadband to a rural village in Britain, selected Calix's E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP) for its Cybermoor fiber broadband project.

Cybermoor is a pioneering initiative to bring ultra-high-speed broadband services to the local residents and businesses of Alston Moor in Cumbria, UK. The project, which is funded partly by a community share offer program and partly by the British government, will thrust this rural community to the forefront of advanced broadband services in the UK. It is one of the first projects in the UK to include self-funding as a key element in its strategy for next-generation access.

The first phase of Cybermoor’s fiber optic network has now been completed, linking the town of Alston with the village of Nenthead and providing next-generation access to the primary school, businesses and residents. The five-mile-long route uses locally manufactured ducting and fiber optic cables. The network also uses a wireless internet backbone to bring fast broadband via a microwave link from Northumberland County Council’s fiber network at Prudhoe to Alston. Calix will provide the access platform and end-user terminal equipment that will complete the connection.

A Transformative Network
Daniel Heery, Cybermoor project manager, says, “We believe that this network will be transformative to the community of Alston Moor, whose residents will be among the first in the country to become a UK Fiber Optic Community. A fiber network at the heart of the community will provide high-capacity connections to local residents and businesses and will help to attract people and businesses who want to live in a rural area and benefit from high-speed connections. With this powerful infrastructure, we will in fact be better served than many of the larger towns and cities of the country not only for today, but for some time to come.”

Cybermoor Networks will deploy GPON technology via the Calix E7 and 716GE-I indoor optical network terminals (ONTs). The modularity of the Calix E7, which can be deployed in 1-rack-unit increments, will allow the network to grow in stages - the initial phase will cover the most populous parts of Alston Moor, starting with the center of Alston town, and later phases will cover more remote areas as funding becomes available.

The 716GE-I indoor ONTs have four high-speed ports and two voice ports, offering a highly flexible in-home infrastructure for delivering voice, TV, and high-speed internet access. Subscribers will be able to choose different Internet Service Providers through each port if needed. The ONT also supports powerful business networks in small office/home office environments.

Andy Lockhart, senior vice president of international sales and marketing at Calix, says, “Few areas in the UK are more remote and rural than Cumbria, yet even fewer areas in the country will be as wired for the future as Alston Moor. We applaud the way that residents are taking their destiny into their own hands to meet the bandwidth needs of the community. The Cybermoor project is both visionary and innovative, and we are delighted to be able to bring our expertise and leadership in rural broadband implementations in other countries to help support this ambitious project.”

UK network specialist Fibre Options played a key role in the implementation, recommending the Calix solution as the best option for Cybermoor.

Cybermoor History
The Cybermoor project started in 2001 in response to the UK Government’s “Wired up Communities” initiative, which aimed to connect disadvantaged communities to the internet. Alston Moor was selected because of its remoteness and the distance that people had to travel to access basic services. The original funding provided computers for households, a wireless broadband network for homes and businesses and a community website. Cybermoor Networks Ltd was set up in 2003 as the UK’s first broadband community cooperative, with the aim of retaining control of the vital digital infrastructure within the community.

Cybermoor Networks Ltd. is one of the pilot projects in the government-funded Community Shares scheme, which supports communities in raising finance for local projects such as alternative energy and local shops.

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